Independence day. History Lost?Read More
Here's a conversation that does happen...
You know that awesome song from the 90’s? Yeah.. the one that goes like… were in the video they… and… Oh yeah that line was so legit. We should bring that one back!
Here’s one that doesn’t happen...
You know that amazing poster from last year. Yeah… that poster that just took “trend” to another level. Yeah.. the print that just made you feel like you were in Dubai… and the way it stuck to the tree down churchill road. What a poster!
Pushing it to market?
Let it be….
So we’re big fans of Burberry (that international clothing brand based out of London). Not because their clothes are expensive (we’re talking really expensive) or even because their style is hugely different from the other brands.
We’ve bought into their adventure. Burberry started telling their story through powerful short films and people started realising that in the past, they were the brand that clothed some of the most dangerous explorations on the globe. They suited up Shakleton on his adventure through the South Pole.
They suited up front line war heroes in World War I, with special garb. They decked out the first woman pilot. We’re won over not because they sell clothes. They sell a pioneering spirit and a world that pulls you in.
Marketers around the world work hard to move the consumer from brand awareness to brand loyalty to brand insistent (Steve Greene).
So here’s our take on it.
Brand awareness can come by shouting loud. Pushing a good product. Discounts and price battles.
Brand loyalty comes by consistency, good service, relevant information and
Brand insistence comes through relationship. The extra mile, the story connection and an experience that makes you feel like family. This is what good content brings to the light. It let’s people in on the passion that drives the brand.
Content is not king. Good content is king.
Let people insist on your brand. Not just know about it.
You get that feeling when you watch something that’s...almost there… but not quite. That character seems pushed. The interview is a little stoic. The talent is over exerting themselves. We’ve heard it said a lot. Man; it just feels forced. Ever been there?
So how do you disarm the talent and make them feel like they’re at home with their legs crossed by the fire? Here’s what we’ve found to help out a ton. (And we’ve worked with full blown professionals and people whose only acting experience has been when they’re trying to act cool in front of a girl (or guy) they like.
Three different types of people in-front of the camera (We’ve chosen three, but there are a whole lot more)
The suited CEO. High powered individuals (Someone used to cold boardrooms and heated financial pressure).
These guys see the crew, the cameras and lights as a little overwhelming. Mr. Freeze blows on their face and it’s…. Like stuck. Before anything happens we’ve found that these guys have to laugh. First camera questions have nothing to do with the story. A question like “What’s the sneakiest thing you’ve ever done behind the scenes in your organization.” It’s amazing what a random question will do to relax the man or woman in the spotlight.
The Non Actor. Acting.
So friends, family members; people that you’re hoping pull out what you want. This can be tough because the professional acting catalogue isn’t marketed well (or maybe it’s not there) you use who you can. Again - the “get them to relax game” means you and your crew have to be relaxed. A stressed out non-actor will give you nothing. So create the atmosphere (gestures, speech, body language) where there is no failure. Tell them they’re doing great - even when they’re not. Then suggest a few things each time. Sometimes the non actor doesn’t ever act. You gotta be cool with that.
The participators of the story.
Doing real life stories doesn’t give you a choice in who you use, but what turns a participator into a heart throbber are the questions. The wrong questions will throw water on any passion spark that’s there. The right questions will pour fuel on it and bring out the roaring fire that your story needs. We’ll post some more about this later on.
These are just a few tips from us to you in a world where sometimes you can’t choose your talent.
Ever seen a brand selling dreams but delivering nightmares? We bought a locally phone brand once. You know - support the homegrown energy. Promises were stacked higher than Joina City and the branding was a little above average. The phone crashed in a few weeks and the customer service agent’s name was nonsense … and that’s exactly what they gave us.
As much as the marketing and powdering-up matters, the delivery on the promise is what turns an interested chancer into a lifetime customer.
Think about this, a big bad marketing campaign can push all the right buttons drive sales and increase walk in customers. Open for Business in Zim, for example. It’s good (it could be better), but if investors flock Zimbabwe to an open sign and they find weeds of bureaucracy, stifling policies and a difficulty in doing business then they’ll walk out and tell other people that we’re closed. “They’re not as ready as they say they are.”
You don’t want to be spending more time on damage control than creating your brand movement. It’s harder to win these clients back because no amount of marketing clout will get them to trust you again. Trust is paralyzed. Done.
So great marketing is linked to the UX (user experience) on the ground. It needs a strategy that connects to the experience of the customer. The conversation is bigger than “Just make us look good out there.” It’s about the smart ideas & systems behind the scenes that give credibility to powerful campaign.
Big Marketing + bad experience = irreplaceable trust
Small Marketing + big experience = referrals that last a lifetime
Follow the promises to the ground, and eliminate the problems in your UX.
A come back from a muddy brand name is like trying to revive the Zim dollar.
After the pre 2008 bad Zim dollar experience, how many Zimbabweans wanted it back? Zero.
Match up the promise to the experience and you’ve got dynamite.
You can’t ignore the rise of content creators online. It’s like the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti, except it’s a stampede onto digital platforms. Slowly but surely, media houses are making the most of the digital space. Are we doing a “mushe” job here. Or is there some “washaya nonsense” going on.
It would take a good long while to mention all the talk shows, podcasts and comedy sessions available online from Zimbabwe. That by itself is not a bad thing. We sort of created our own “Netflix and chill” off expensive data. Yikes.
Speaking of expensive data; the thought of investing money to buy data to watch a show requires it to stand out like a purple cow and shout “I’m original”. It’s got to stand out from the millions of shows available online.
Not everybody is going to be like Oprah. How many talent shows are done, where the panelists give it their best effort to be Simon Cowell? Their dry humor turns soggy.
The copy-pasting of an existing script to a different set and web address does not count as motivation to spend the data. When the data does become cheaper, then it’ll be a time cost. The battle for people’s time.
Same concepts with a different colour, theme song and face. Having a new show doesn’t mean rebranding an old tv show. Justin Timberlake brought “Sexy back” but we don’t need to bring back “Amai Chisamba”. She had her day.
‘It is better to fail in originality than to succeed at imitation.’ Quote from Herman Meville. That’s a good quote. Maybe one to tweet if you want a bunch of people to say… deep.
In simple terms: we have a million shows online but how many are actually one in a million? Who stands out? Who’s really pushing the boundaries? Who would bootleg a Zim show - and try to sell it in India because of the creative prowess and the depths of ingenuity? Come on. Let’s get our stuff plagiarized!
Are we recreating the same concept of a show that has impressive ratings with a different set and face in the hope of attracting the same ratings?
The excuses of sub-standard shows range from budget constraints and digital inadequacies.
So coming down to it, originality will separate itself from any of the excuses.
It runs on intentionally and being true to yourself. Tweaking it. Failing. Tweaking it again. Getting your friends to give their honest opinion.
Let’s put it like this- would you prefer an original iPhone or an “iPhone” branded iFone? The iFone will work, and might do the trick (for a few months) but there’s so much more value in brand new.
You don’t need a template to create genius. You just need you.
Kwesé killed a lot of dreams... And gave us new ones.
There were people that dreamed of multi-choice living on forever. Others dreamed that ZBC would rise like a star and crush the competition. Kwesé killed those dreams. And gave us new ones.
Kwesé is not innocent. Far from it. The new Kwesé platform has drawn swords against the rainbow colored multi-choice. It has taken out the apathy that has dwelt around regional content distribution. It's locked up the normal way of doing TV, and it's given a douse of freedom and hope to a new generation of advertisers, consumers and content creators. But what does it mean for the Zimbabwe Media space?
But let's understand first, where are we now?
Locally produced content is as scarce as US dollars. It's there, but it might not look as good as you'd like it to. Quality is still being worked on and it's not like you can go to a content shop and get as much as you need to fill multiple local channels.
Advertising palettes are still getting used to the taste. Agencies are re-learning what it means to have presence on TV. The game has changed and many marketing gurus are still evaluating whether or not its worth it. Is it worth spending money on producing a good commercial. Is it worth buying the air time? Stats show that a product or brand with a captivating video is 97% more likely to convert a looker in to a customer, than a print ad or a write up.
Digital integration and Social Media. For the longest time people have downed the traditional Mahehu on advertising. Billboards and newspaper ads have been the sexy, feel good ideas. Recently social media videos and pages have skyrocketed the interest of brands, and the truth of the matter is that TV campaigns done right, still overpowers the digital reach of social media. It might cost more, but it has a bigger punch.
Government Regulations haven't helped in pushing for a digital world. Years have passed since the archaic giant of ZBC announced that it would quickly move to digital. In the parable of the tortoise and the hare, they are the tortoise with two broken legs. The regulations have put the rabbits in a maze.
Acting and presenting has never been regarded as a real career. Especially in the Zimbabwean education system. Those positions have been seen more like hobbies. Where are all the actors and anchors? They're untapped. Probably doing an accounting internship.
What does Kwesé really Mean?
Kwesé is going to provide a platform for media professionals and marketers to touch actively engaged Zimbabweans who are huge fans of content that matters. It means that a local idea, with local actors and presenters can actually test the audience and have a potential business case. Kwesé means that the once dormant industry can introduce blossoming careers. Local sports shows, talent and ___ can be showcased.
Creatives - the long lasting wait is over. Down the alley ways, at hubs and in garages can suck in a breath of fresh air. To get on DSTV and channels like MNET and MTV doesn't have to be the goal anymore. The Zimbabwe bureaucracy race is getting better, and the options for viewers and fans are far greater. Hopefully Kwesé has metrics and analytics so marketers can track the effectiveness of their commercials and their media buying.
So Who's Going to Smile?
- Marketers have a brand new audience who's got their dishes and decoders ready to go.
- Production Companies have tons of opportunities to get their stuff on something other then Facebook, whatsapp and youtube.
- Actors and Presenters are no longer victims of intervention or "What are you thinking" type conversations. We'll be able to see a few more celebs begin to rise (not the self proclaimed ones). People with personality and hopefully character.
With VR tech on the move and production getting cheaper, there's many ways that the industry could turn. We have even heard rumors about human like robots replacing actors. One thing for certain is that story will always be central to the industry, and no matter what. The methods will change constantly, but the best story still always wins.